I’ve ended yet another relationship. I started my search for support and motivation for someone in their late 20s, I felt even more defeated to find nothing but “there are more fish in the sea” and don’t forget to practice “mindfulness” both of which are somewhat true but on the surface. No one mentioned the struggle of seeing everyone around you getting married, having kids, and the feeling of longing for this life you will never have again.

It’s so hard to be honest with yourself when the person you’re with is wonderful. Unlike the others, he never cheated or became violent. So why would I leave? Far too often we stay because we are comfortable, the beginning was great, or we know what they could be one day. Have the guts to look at this beautiful person in front of you and say “this is heartbreaking and defeating but you are incredible for someone else.” Someone who is more soft spoken, who doesn’t mind to make all of the decisions. Someone who may be more patient or messy, so that you can breathe freely. And maybe I’m incredible for someone else who wants more adventures and philosophical discussion. Either way right here, right now, we can’t waste more time. Be appreciative of the time you did have but don’t continue to waste it while you could be becoming the best version of yourself, instead of putting your energies into unnecessary change.

The second part to come to terms with is your plan and timeline. Do your best to not look at other couples and families- they are showing you the best version of their relationship online. Hell, you can even see it in your own photos where you look happy and in love. And you know in that picture from New Year’s you ended up crying and fighting, but to the world you look happy. So do your best to not look at those either, they are filled with memories you might be selectively thinking of. Don’t torment yourself.

So your plan took a different path. This might be part of your plan. Maybe you each had to grow and learn before your next relationship. And who’s to say your next relationship will be the “one.” Try not to put too much pressure on yourself. You are not running out of time, even if it feels like it. So what you’re almost thirty. At least we made it this far with some incredible people. Just because we didn’t get married, doesn’t mean it was a waste and you have to start all over at 28.

Start here today. What did you learn? Who did you help? How will you continue to thrive to obtain your goals? Whether those are marital, to have children, or finally get into that graduate program and focus on your career. Regret nothing. Try to be around family and friends. And know it’s okay that this hurts and you have to move out and start again. But you’re starting here with years of learned experience on your side. So instead of looking at your past relationships as failures, realize you tried your best but this beautiful person isn’t going to be yours. Be kind and don’t forget they lost something too that you get to keep. Yourself and your future.